This is a four-hour seminar, split over two days in one week, to explore some of the techniques of nature writing. We will pay careful attention to language, and also to the power and importance of your initial observations. It is this preliminary work that often determines whether the words you choose will be original, fresh and suggestive.
The other key goal will be to explore how writers select their central theme, create mood and map out the psychological setting and the physical context quickly and in the fewest words. Economy of language is essential, since it is about distilling the essence of a place or season and using a part to evoke the whole scene.
This may be an exercise on nature writing, but it has deep relevance across the genres. All writers draw upon the landscape and the wider environment to create an atmosphere ad to set the scene. The class may be online but we will get as close to the living world as we possibly can.
Instructor: Mark Cocker is a multi-award winning author and naturalist, whose 12 books include Crow Country, Our Place and Claxton. Over the last four decades he has also published more than 1000 essays on nature in national and international newspapers especially the Guardian.